A Snowy Egret was striking a pose on a pylon overlooking a full creek. This was about the only wading bird activity I saw on this trip.
The water was very high on both sides of the dike leaving the “Spoony Tree” standing in water. The pond level was too high for wading birds to feed.
For comparison here is the tree a couple months earlier when there were some Spoonbills around and a few Alligators lounged in the shallow water. The dirt around the roots has washed away and the tree appears dead. It won’t be a surprise to find out this tree has fallen over.
Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
First two images: 6/18/2019
Third image: 4/18/2019
This Great Blue Heron had just brought food to his chicks in a nearby nest. The adults often leave quickly, presumably to get away from the young squabbling over the meal they have to share or take from the other.
The adult wandered down over the bank into the edge of the pond which is covered with various water weeds that reflected the late afternoon sun.
I don’t know just when they hatched but these two Great Blue Heron chicks were checking out their world on March 31st.
They were able to sit up and squawk for several minutes at a time.
I didn’t get any good images in between, but by May 5th they had the appearance of adults.
Able to stretch their necks for a better view, their world is just this nest. They are totally reliant on the parents bringing food.
On May 22nd their feathers looked more mature and the chicks spend more time grooming.
I have not seen these two chicks fly yet, but it won’t be long. It has been brutally hot here, 100 F (38 C) predicted for today, and these nests are out in the open with no shade. The chicks will do a pant-like behavior and sit with their wings out to help regulate temperature, which hopefully will help them survive.